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Asparagus acutifolius - L.

Common Name
Family Asparagaceae
USDA hardiness 7-10
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Bushy and dry sunny places, mainly on limestone[45, 89, 132].
Range Europe - Mediterranean.
Edibility Rating    (3 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care
Frost Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Asparagus acutifolius


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Alberto_Salguero
Asparagus acutifolius
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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Asparagus acutifolius is an evergreen Perennial growing to 1.5 m (5ft).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 8 and is frost tender. It is in leaf all year, in flower from August to September. The species is dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required). and is pollinated by Bees. The plant is not self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Habitats

 Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Stem
Edible Uses:

Young shoots - cooked[22, 46, 61]. An asparagus substitute, it is preferred by gourmets for its stronger flavour[132, 183]. Excellent when seasoned with oil and lemon juice[183]. Thin, bitter and often stringy according to another report[2]. Very aromatic[132]. A uniquely bitter aromatic flavour[183]. The new shoots are rather thin and are not produced in abundance[K].

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.


None known

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Other Uses

None known

Cultivation details

An easily grown plant, succeeding in any good garden soil[200]. Prefers a rich sandy loam[1]. Plants tolerate considerable neglect on our Cornish trial grounds[K]. Plants are very tolerant of maritime exposure[K]. This species is not hardy in the colder areas of the country, it tolerates temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c[200]. The young growth in spring, even on mature plants, is frost-tender and so it is best to grow the plants in a position sheltered from the early morning sun[K]. Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.

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Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees, and Woodland Gardening. Our new book to be released soon is Edible Shrubs.

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Propagation

Seed - pre-soak for 12 hours in warm water and then sow in spring or as soon as the seed is ripe in early autumn in a greenhouse. It usually germinates in 3 - 6 weeks at 25°c[134]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a sunny position in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer[K]. Division in early spring as the plant comes into growth.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Asparagus abyssinicus 20
Asparagus adscendens 21
Asparagus albus 10
Asparagus aphyllus 20
Asparagus cochinchinensisChinese Asparagus33
Asparagus dauricus 10
Asparagus filicinusFern Asparagus21
Asparagus maritimus 10
Asparagus officinalisAsparagus, Garden asparagus43
Asparagus racemosusShatavari35
Asparagus sauveolens 10
Asparagus schoberioides 21
Asparagus setaceusAsparagus Fern, Common asparagus fern, Plumosa Fern10
Asparagus stipularis 10
Asparagus tenuifolius 10
Asparagus verticillatus 20
Lotus tetragonolobusAsparagus Pea, Winged pea30
Ornithogalum pyrenaicumBath Asparagus, Pyrenees star of Bethlehem20

 

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Expert comment

Author

L.

Botanical References

50200

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

Sanjay Kasture   Sat Aug 11 2007

We have studied anti-stress, antioxidant activity of ethanolic extract of Asparagus acutifolius shoots. It exhibited very low activity in both the tests.

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